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Every construction and plumbing project is different in its own way; with various needs and challenges that are unique to every site, it is important to establish the variables that remain within your management capability and control.

Installing brand new, or repairing existing, plumbing systems requires an extensive breadth of knowledge and skills which must adhere to plumbing codes and standards for commercial or residential property types.

There are various things you could do to avoid common project management pitfalls on big plumbing projects, starting with our top three recommendations here:

1. Hire licensed, professional plumbers that specialize in your project needs.

Most plumbing companies readily provide, and make available, their license number to ensure consumers find them credible, including review of any certifications they may have. If you are uncertain on how to find this, or want to determine if the information is accurate, we suggest making contact with the company to inquire directly before deciding to proceed on any work. You may also review a contractor’s license number, and how long they’ve been licensed, with your state’s licensing board which has all of this information. This simple review process tops the recommendation list to avoid costly plumbing mistakes by only screening companies that are likely to possess the skills required to produce quality work for you and your specific project requirements.

2. Establish industry knowledge and experience in all areas relevant to your plumbing project.

To start, clear identification of your plumbing needs is critical to scouting plumbing technicians qualified to assume the work. For commercial or residential plumbing projects, during the quote and estimate process, ask specific questions related to the installation process such as: 

  • What equipment do you use to complete the installation? 
  • What is the suggested amount of time to complete and review the work? 
  • Have you executed this scope of services before? 
  • Do you have examples of the finished product of any past work similar to this project? 
  • Are there any potential issues, or common challenges, that you expect to encounter on a project like this? If so, what are they and how will it impact cost versus initial estimate?

This list of questions is merely a starting point in developing a working relationship of transparent, proactive communication during plumbing projects of every scope and size. In addition, establishment of technical knowledge will help to ensure local plumbing codes are being observed (which vary by property type and according to service) as the work progresses to circumvent potential fines or repairs in the future for non-compliance or operational issues.

3. Establish clear communication about project scope to avoid change orders that can spike costs and change project timeline.

This is a very common issue we see in our industry with clients and contractors that have not established clear expectations for the scope of work (to be) performed. We recommend that communication remain a priority from the quote process to the start of the project, and through to completion of course. Yet, to avoid simple missteps, it is highly suggested to avoid change orders by accurately determining needs before your project begins. And, in the event that change orders are absolutely necessary—even after clear communication—then please be prepared to expect timeline changes and cost changes accordingly.

4. Request a service guarantee for accountability post-project completion. 

We highly recommend determining service guarantee for work performed at the project onset. This will help to alleviate concerns of follow-up within a specified timeframe after the work has been performed. While every plumbing contractor is different, based on the nature of your project, level your expectations for post-project assumptions by asking questions about maintenance and repair protocols in the event a need arises once the contractors are no longer onsite. Any reliable technician producing quality plumbing solutions will typically guarantee the project and provide guarantee for the work performed and equipment used during installation.

In summation, this list is not meant to be exhaustive but includes a few suggestions to help guide your selecting a qualified team of plumbing professionals to successfully execute on your next commercial or residential plumbing opportunity.

At North Bay Platinum Plumbing, we have over twenty years of experience in commercial plumbing, new construction projects, remodels, and in-home servicing needs. We are fully licensed, bonded, insured, and available to provide plumbing support and installation for new structures in both commercial and residential work. Whether new or existing commercial property, new home builds, or multi-unit residential needs, we have the experience to understand and comply with building codes for water, sewer, and all other plumbing installations to deliver the quality work that you value and appreciate.